February 3, 2015 | Posted in MOVIES, THRILLER | By

Almost as good as the original

I know that is a lofty statement, saying that this William Peter Blatty directed Exorcist rivals the original William Friedkin film. I have seen some very mixed reviews on the Exorcist III, that was part of the reason I never bothered to see it.

It also didn’t help that the second installment with Richard Burton turned out to be a rather average film, even though Burton’s performance was pretty good.

The first time I watched part 3, George C. Scott seemed a tad over the top, I kept thinking about his gruff Oscar-winning portrayal of General George S. Patton in Patton.

Scott’s performance is much more complex as Lt. Kenderman, than the roll Lee J. Cobb played 17 years earlier.

Scott’s Kenderman lacks the humor and Columbo style nosing around, but I kind of like the no-nonsense style considering the Evil he has to go up against.

William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist III succeeds on several fronts: The Hitchcock style soundtrack, along with the Serial Killer sub-plot that is woven in, makes for an interesting film to say the least.

Also the dialogue in the film is top-notch, the banter between Kenderman and his priest friend Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) is very good, and seems very natural, like watching “real” old buddies interacting.

There are many very unorthodox scenes in this film that will scare the hell out of you, they do a good job of setting you up and letting you down only to hit you in the head with a sledge-hammer.

I don’t want to give too much away, but Brad Dourif plays the possessed Gemini Killer, and Jason Miller reprises his role as Father Damien Karras.

Trust me, this movie is scary as hell and full of surprises, I swear it’s almost equal to the original. The film also does a good job making you think many people might be involved, with  each suspect being more creepy than the next.

I didn’t think it was possible for a film to be as creepy as the original Exorcist: Somehow part 3 does it, and then some. Possessed nursing home elderly people, a few strategically placed people who you think are suspects, they turn out to be nothing more than just very strange people.

The Dream Sequence with the Glenn Miller reminiscent band leader, and WWII style Big Band Jazz music playing in a train station is super weird and creepy.

Many of the killing scenes are very well done and unorthodox. Many times there is a suspended time feeling that gets under your skin.

Brad Dourif the possessed Gemini serial killer is of special note, with his over the top, but believable performance. The biggest criticism of the film seems to indeed be George C. Scott. I’ve watched the film many times recently, I never feel that Scott is going beyond his own style. The Exorcist III is proof that sometimes, if not most times, the critics can get it wrong.

I highly recommend the Exorcist III.

Well made nurse station scene

Photo used with permission via Amazon.com


Jason Sositko, a freelance writer and entrepreneur is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I also use services such as Viglink and Skimlinks to earn income via links placed inside articles.


  1. Arthur Chappell
    March 28, 2015

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    I agree – the third one was a very effective and well acted horror drama – It suffered for the second movie being one of the worst films ever made, so fewer gave this one a chance even though it is a direct follow on to the first film, with no reference at all to part two. Arthur

    • Jason Sositko
      April 1, 2015

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      I was surprised that George C. Scott was nominated for a Golden Raspberry award for the performance, many consider it to be over the top, a kin to Al Pacino’s performance in Heat. Neither performance seemed particularly ridiculous to me for the respective role.

  2. Arthur Chappell
    April 1, 2015

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    Didn’t know about that – quite surprising – not seen Heat, but Scott’s performance was fine – Arthur

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